Indonesia has blocked more than 70,000 websites displaying “negative” content such as pornography or extremist ideology in the first month of using a new system to help purge the internet of harmful material, the communications minister told Reuters.
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“We just put some sort of key words there, most of them are pornographic,”
said Minister of Communication and Information Rudiantara.
“Because after 2017 we have blocked almost 800,000 sites and more than 90 percent (of these were) pornographic,”
said the minister.
Indonesia threatened last year to block Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp Messenger, which is widely used in the country, unless obscene Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) images provided by third parties were removed.
Authorities also blocked access to some channels on encrypted messaging service Telegram last year, saying it had several forums that were “full of radical and terrorist propaganda”.
Minister Rudiantara said the relationship with social media companies and tech giants was improving and put some disagreements down to differences over what, for example, constitutes pornography.
“To us probably it is pornographic, because we refer to the laws of pornography in Indonesia. But for other parts of the world, they say it is not pornography, it is art,”
“But now it’s getting better, particularly when we consider content associated with radicalism, terrorism… On that content, I think they respond very fast.”
The minister also added that companies like Google and Facebook, had recently pledged to help authorities fight fake news and hate speech during upcoming elections in the world’s third-biggest democracy.